The Joy of Jewish Dance

September 15, 2022  10 – 11:30am PDT

• Chochmat Members $15
• General Public $20
• Pay What You Can – If the ticket price is beyond your reach, we still want you to come!

This class will take place at Chochmat HaLev. Please arrive before the class starts so you can check in and show us proof of vaccination. 

If you are unable to attend this class in-person, please stay tuned for more details from Bruce on when his Zoom class will be.25

The Joy of Jewish Dance is a weekly musical movement practice that begins by exploring the deeper healing meanings behind the Hebrew letters with creative movement midrash (improvisation). Then we take our time to learn the ancient gestures and moves from traditional women’s and men’s Yemenite dance, the soulful ecstatic dances of the Hassidim, Klezmer, Sephardic, Mizrachi, Ethiopian and the classic beautiful gems of Israeli Folk dance. Each class is a musical journey that aims to lift the spirit, open the heart, and dance in our authentic bodies to the diverse rhythms of world Jewish music.

Discover the beauty and rejuvenating force of this ancient ecstatic dance as the moves of the ancestors are tailor-fit to each individual body and unique expression. For ages 12 to 112. All bodies and backgrounds welcome!

Bruce Bierman is a graduate of the U.C. Santa Cruz Theater Arts program and is a celebrated Jewish dance master, teaching artist, and theater director in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Bruce has studied under the guidance of a handful of some of the great Jewish dance masters including legendary Felix Fibich, who passed down to him his choreographic work with the Hebrew alphabet. Bruce was a leading performer and teacher with the acclaimed Aman Folk Ensemble of Los Angeles and currently serves on the faculty of the groundbreaking Stagebridge Theater Company in Oakland. Recently, Bruce was enlisted as Yiddish dance dramaturg for the Tony Award-winning play, ‘Indecent’ at both the Arena Stage and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Bruce directed and choreographed the Yiddish musical, The Megilleh of Itzik Manger for the Berkeley Jewish Music Festival, and is set to direct the Yiddish Theatre Ensemble’s upcoming production of Sholem Asch’s original God of Vengeance. He currently has an artist fellowship with LABA East Bay – A Laboratory for New Jewish Culture. You can contact Bruce at

Gilberto Melendez began his career as a dancer in Managua, Nicaragua as the most sought-after dance partner for every fiesta in town.  Upon arrival in Los Angeles, he focused his studies on ballet, flamenco and tango as a student of some of the leading teachers in their fields including:  Sonya Van Beer, the prima ballerina of the Dutch National Ballet, and master flamenco teacher Roberto Amaral. Performance credits include:  Principal dancer in El Gato Montes starring Placido Domingo, The Nutcracker with the Palos Verdes Ballet, and The Megilleh of Itzik Manger with the Berkeley Jewish Music Festival. Gilberto also serves on the staff of Lighthouse for the Blind and performs and co-leads the Joy of Jewish Dance workshops with his husband, Bruce Bierman.


Sep 15 2022


10:00 am
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